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JFP News 8/12: Iranian Opposition Intellectuals Oppose Economic Sanctions

Just Foreign Policy News
August 12, 2009


What Did a US-funded Poll Say About a Karzai First-Round Victory?
The British newspaper The Telegraph is claiming that a US funded poll indicates that Hamid Karzai will not win re-election as President of Afghanistan in the first round. The poll put Karzai at 36 per cent of the vote and Abdullah Abdullah at 20 per cent, the Telegraph says. But the Telegraph report is misleading. A Washington Post report of the same poll noted that Karzai led with 45 percent of the vote among decided voters - much closer to the 50% needed to avoid a run-off.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/293

Obama, You Do Have a Button to Reverse the Coup in Honduras
"I can't press a button and suddenly reinstate Zelaya," Obama said. But Obama does have a button he has not pressed: canceling U.S. visas of coup leaders, as called for by 16 Democratic Members of Congress.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/291

Letter: 16 Members of Congress call on Obama to take further measures against Honduran coup regime
http://grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=13&sectiontree=5,13&itemid=413

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JFP News 8/11: 16 House Dems Call for Increased Pressure on Honduras Coup

Just Foreign Policy News
August 11, 2009


Obama, You Do Have a Button to Reverse the Coup in Honduras
"I can't press a button and suddenly reinstate Zelaya," Obama said. But Obama does have a button he has not pressed: canceling U.S. visas of coup leaders, as called for by 16 Democratic Members of Congress.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/291

Letter: 16 Members of Congress call on Obama to take further measures against Honduran coup regime
http://grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=13&sectiontree=5,13&itemid=413

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South American Leaders Reject Elections Under Honduras Coup Regime

Just Foreign Policy News
August 10, 2009


Honduran Coup Decree Shows Coup "Justification" Was After the Fact
Supporters in the U.S. of the coup in Honduras have frequently made two claims to justify it which are demonstrably false, which have nonetheless been widely accepted in the U.S., because they have been largely unchallenged in the U.S. media: the Honduran Congress authorized Zelaya's removal, and the basis for that removal was Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution, which forbids someone from being President if he has already been President, and says that anyone who advocates changing this provision will cease to be President. But the coup decree of the Honduran Congress is now online. The document never mentions Article 239.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/289

The Minimum Wage and the Coup in Honduras
The coup in Honduras - and the at best grudging and vacillating support in Washington for the restoration of President Zelaya - has thrown into stark relief a fundamental fault line in Latin America and a moral black hole in U.S. policy toward the region: What is the minimum wage which a worker shall be paid for a day's labor?
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/287

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JFP News 8/7: the Minimum Wage and the Coup in Honduras

Just Foreign Policy News
August 7, 2009


The Minimum Wage and the Coup in Honduras
The coup in Honduras - and the at best grudging and vacillating support in Washington for the restoration of President Zelaya - has thrown into stark relief a fundamental fault line in Latin America and a moral black hole in U.S. policy toward the region: What is the minimum wage which a worker shall be paid for a day's labor?
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/287

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U.S./Top News
1) A new national poll indicates that support among Americans for the war in Afghanistan has hit a new low, CNN reports. Fifty-four percent say they oppose the war in Afghanistan, up 6 points from May. Three-quarters of Democrats oppose the war; nearly two-thirds of Republicans support it.

2) The Obama administration has backed away from its call to restore ousted Honduran President Zelaya, McClatchy reports, based on the letter the Administration sent to Senator Lugar. Some 1,000 pro-Zelaya demonstrators protested outside the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa after the State Department letter was made public in the Honduran media.

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JFP News 8/6 - Juan Cole: The Folly of a Gas Embargo on Iran

Just Foreign Policy News
August 6, 2009


Mousavi's Gas Embargo on Iran?
In serious contention for Dumbest Washington Consensus for September is the idea of cutting off Iran's gas imports to pressure Iran to stop enriching uranium. A majority of Representatives and Senators have signed on to legislation that seeks to block Iran's gas imports, a top legislative priority for the so-called "Israel Lobby." But it's a stupid idea for many reasons, not least of which is that it would be an albatross around the neck of opposition politicians in Iran.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/284

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1) Writing for Informed Comment, Juan Cole adds to yesterday's list of reasons why trying to impose a gas embargo on Iran is a really dumb idea: Iran could play spoiler for the US withdrawal from Iraq and can make trouble for the US in Afghanistan; Iraqis would line up to smuggle gas into Iran; the Iranian opposition inside Iran opposes forceful Western intervention.

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JFP News 8/5 - Softening U.S. Support for President Zelaya?

Just Foreign Policy News
August 5, 2009


Mr. Mousavi's Gas Embargo on Iran?
In serious contention for Dumbest Washington Consensus for September is the idea of cutting off Iran's gas imports to pressure Iran to stop enriching uranium. A majority of Representatives and Senators have signed on to legislation that seeks to block Iran's gas imports, a top legislative priority for the so-called "Israel Lobby." But it's a stupid idea for many reasons, not least of which is that it would be an albatross around the necks of opposition politicians in Iran.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/284

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U.S./Top News
1) The State Department responded to Republican criticism it has been too supportive of President Zelaya, Reuters reports. Reuters and Senator DeMint interpreted the State Department's letter as softening or "walking back" U.S. support for Zelaya.

2) President Barack Obama and top U.S. military commanders are under pressure from influential senators and civilian advisers to double the size of Afghan security forces, Bloomberg reports.

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JFP News 8/4 - OAS Mission to Pressure Coup Leaders

Just Foreign Policy News
August 4, 2009


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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Costa Rican President Arias said an OAS mission will travel to Honduras in a new effort to pressure coup-installed leaders to restore ousted President Zelaya, AP reports. OAS secretary-general Insulza said the OAS would meet Wednesday to organize the diplomatic mission, which he said he hoped would include foreign ministers. Honduras' Congress pledged to consider granting Zelaya amnesty if the two sides agree to it. the near-unanimous vote suggested Congress would not stand in the way of a compromise, AP says.

2) The US and Israel are discussing the feasibility of curbing Iran's imports of gasoline, Reuters reports. An Israeli official said US policymakers were concerned Iran's response could have implications for global oil markets. Iran has threatened to retaliate against a cutoff of its gasoline imports by stopping its crude oil exports to Western countries. Iran could also disrupt oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz. Diplomats said Obama could have a hard time convincing Russia and China to go along with any fuel sanctions on Iran. Other diplomats noted that the EU is split on the idea of targeting Iran's energy industry. Diplomats say Turkey would also have difficulty supporting such measures.

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JFP News 8/3: Pentagon Wants Weapons Aimed at Iran

Just Foreign Policy News
August 3, 2009


Rep. Grijalva Urges Greater U.S. Pressure on the Coup Regime in Honduras
Rep. Raul Grijalva is circulating a letter to President Obama, calling on him to freeze U.S. assets and suspend U.S. visas of coup leaders. [The Administration has taken a good first step by canceling the visas of four coup leaders.] Signers of the letter include Reps. McGovern, Conyers, Serrano, Fattah, Honda, Barbara Lee, Jesse Jackson, Oberstar, and Kucinich. Urge your Representative to sign the Grijalva letter calling for more U.S. pressure on the coup regime.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/grijalva-letter

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) The U.S. Defense Department wants to accelerate by three years the deployment of a 30,000-pound bunker-buster bomb, Bloomberg reports. Accelerating the program "is intended to, at the very least, give the president the option of conducting a strike to knock out Iran's main uranium enrichment capabilities," said Ken Katzman, Middle East military expert for the Congressional Research Service.

2) The Obama Administration has classified its answer to Senator Kerry's question of whether it is still U.S. policy that the Secretary of Defense must personally approve airstrikes that are expected to cause 50 or more civilian deaths, writes Tom Hayden in the Boston Globe. Kerry's committee should release the answer.

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JFP News 7/31: Honduran Coup Leaders Send "Mixed Signals"

Just Foreign Policy News
July 31, 2009


Rep. Grijalva Urges Greater U.S. Pressure on the Coup Regime in Honduras
Rep. Raul Grijalva is circulating a letter to President Obama, calling on him to freeze U.S. assets and suspend U.S. visas of coup leaders. Signers of the letter include Reps. McGovern, Conyers, Serrano, Fattah, Honda, Barbara Lee, Jesse Jackson, Oberstar, and Kucinich. Urge your Representative to sign the Grijalva letter calling for more U.S. pressure on the coup regime.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/grijalva-letter

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) Honduran police cracked down on protesters and the Honduran Congress delayed consideration of an amnesty bill needed to end the standoff, even as the de facto leader appeared to back away from his opposition to reinstating President Zelaya, AP reports. President Zelaya urged the US to apply pressure on the coup government "with more energy, more strength and greater decisiveness." He will also ask for "immediate action" from the U.N. and OAS. A Zelaya adviser said a proposal would be floated in the OAS for other countries to extend visa cancellations - like those by the US against four coup officials - to a broader range of those involved in the coup, as well as freezing their bank accounts.

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JFP News 7/30: Honduran Coup Leader Signals Acceptance of Zelaya's Return

Just Foreign Policy News
July 30, 2009


Rep. Grijalva Urges Greater U.S. Pressure on the Coup Regime in Honduras
Rep. Raul Grijalva is circulating a letter to President Obama, calling on him to freeze U.S. assets and suspend U.S. visas of coup leaders. [The Administration has taken a good first step by canceling the visas of four coup leaders.] Signers of the letter include Reps. McGovern, Conyers, Serrano, Fattah, Honda, and Barbara Lee. Urge your Representative to sign the Grijalva letter calling for more U.S. pressure on the coup regime.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/grijalva-letter

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Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) The head of Honduras' coup government, Roberto Micheletti, has expressed support for a compromise that would allow the ousted president of his country to return to power, the New York Times reports. Officials said Micheletti warned President Arias he had not been able to persuade other parts of the Honduran government, or leaders of the Honduran business community, to go along with the proposal. So he asked Arias to consider sending a prominent international political figure to help him stem the fierce opposition. The call from Micheletti to Arias came one day after the US increased pressure on the de facto Honduran government by withdrawing diplomatic visas from four high-level officials, the Times notes. [See #6 below for continued opposition by the coup government to Zelaya's return - JFP.]

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